FAQ for a startup

I’ve been to Proto.in a month ago. I should have posted this long back. Better late than never.

The event was awesome. The experience and inspiration I got when seeing other startups can’t be described in mere words. The last session of the second day was pretty interesting. People were asked to pool in the questions they had in mind and again people were “forced” to answer them. (If you don’t answer it in 10 seconds, they were bashed by smiley balls).

Here is the list of questions and the answers people had. I started writing this from the first question. So I’m pretty sure this is the comprehensive list.

What made you decide stop thinking about the product and actually start work on the product? What gives you the initial push to quit the current job and work on your idea?

  1. Picked up a date to start working on the idea.
  2. Boozed lots with a group of friends. Got high and decided to quit from current job and start working on the idea.
  3. This comes in automatically.
  4. Did some initial market research, then mailed the friends circle and got initial feedback. The feedback was too good and they started working on it.
  5. One day, just realized that they have to start things at that moment.
  6. They analyzed the web for sometime and his friend wanted someone who can work with Web 2.0. So the moment they formed the team, they started.

How do you spread your product by word of mouth? What are the different means by which you can advertise your product without paying much?

  1. Give the media a story about your product. They are always hungry for news.
  2. Educate people and give free suggestions.
  3. Advertise with give away t-shirts and in autos.
  4. Social networking like orkut, facebook and blogger
  5. Get a widget from tellafriend.com. It mails all their friends in gmail, yahoo and hotmail about your product if they are ready to give their password.
  6. Get involved with NSACOM ( Happens every 2nd Friday in Bangalore). Contact is bangalore@nascom.in
  7. Tell your friends and get review from them. They will tell their friends.
  8. Hang out in local user groups and open coffee clubs. People will know you by person. This works only when the number of customers are small.

How do you hire employees for your startup? What do you do to keep your employees motivated and work with enthusiasm?

  1. Go to good colleges and train them to work on your startup. Initially they won’t charge much. But once they find the team and work interesting and fun, they will join the team.
  2. I had a friend who was working in other company. He explained his idea to his friends who work with him. And those who are interested join the team.
  3. Tell people about your startup in events like proto.in and college technical festivals.
  4. If you have company space, then allow events like barcamps, discussions and other local events to happen in your company. This will give a great publicity for your company.
  5. Have bill boards with puzzles in your company. People who come to visit the company will get impressed.
  6. Go to hackathons and barcamp sessions and talk to them about your product.
  7. Hire a fresher as an intern for a week or two. If he/she is intersted and he is good, hire him/her.
  8. Go to companies that are sinking and get cheap people. πŸ™‚

When you should quit from your current job?

  1. When you feel you can’t do justice to both your current job and the startup.
  2. When the current job is not able to satisfy yout needs. When you are not happy with the current job.
  3. If for more than a week, everyday morning you feel your job is boring the moment you enter your company.
  4. When you feel that urge to do something so that you do it before others do.
  5. When pay hike and promotions doesn’t excite you anymore.
  6. Save enough money and quit won’t work.
  7. Quit if you don’t find your work challenging and interesting.

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